From Theory & Science, Jon VanWieren (WMU): Decisions, Decisions, Decisions... Intentionality, the Growth of Knowledge, and Cultural Evolution: Establishing Evolutionary Reasoning in the Social Sciences. A review of The Disobedient Generation: Social Theorists in the Sixties. A review of Explaining Social Behavior: More Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences by Jon Elster. A review of Peter T. Manicas's A Realist Philosophy of Social Science: Explanation and Understanding. Musings on time and utopia: While Jacques Derrida teaches that deconstruction is immanent within time, Henry David Thoreau believed that the genius that is the child in us starts with our original amazement (and part 2 and part 3).
From Praesidium: A Journal of Literate and Literary Analysis, an essay on Orality and Literacy Revisited: Beleaguered Allies Against the Technical Onslaught of the Visual. A review of Language and Globalization by Norman Fairclough and Discourse by Jan Blommaert. A review of Indo-European Poetry and Myth by M.L. West. A review of When Heroes Love: The Ambiguity of Eros in the Stories of Gilgamesh and David by Susan Ackerman. A review of Beowulf: A New Translation for Oral Delivery. As we like him: A review of Will by Christopher Rush; Shakespeare’s Wife by Germaine Greer; and The Lodger: Shakespeare on Silver Street by Charles Nicholl. A review of William Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson (and more). The pimp and the playmaker: What exactly was Shakespeare up to in Silver Street, renting a room above a wigmaker's and collaborating with a villain? The orphan playwright: He collaborated with Shakespeare and adapted his plays after his death, but Thomas Middleton was always overshadowed by the Bard. A new collected works is set to change all that.
From Der Spiegel, an interview with Jordan's King Abdullah: "Yes, we do have a nuclear program". A review of Deception: Pakistan, the United States, and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons by Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark; The Nuclear Jihadist: The True Story of the Man Who Sold The World's Most Dangerous Secret and How We Could Have Stopped Him by Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins; and America and the Islamic Bomb: The Deadly Compromise by David Armstrong and Joseph Trento (and more). Prepare for the day Iran goes nuclear, says Martin van Creveld, for eventually it will. Why the Iranians see themselves in a very different light: They think they have right on their side. In the search for loose nukes, a little propaganda goes a long way. A review of The Seventh Decade: The New Shape of Nuclear Danger by Jonathan Schell. More and more and more and more on Richard Rhodes' Arsenals of Folly: The Making of the Nuclear Arms Race. Nuclear history as environmental history: A review of Conservation Fallout: Nuclear Protest at Diablo Canyon by John Willis. Is atomic radiation as dangerous as we thought? A mounting number of studies are coming to some surprising conclusions about the dangers of nuclear radiation: It might not be as deadly as is widely believed.
Editor or algorithm? Refinements in news services from Outside.in and Yahoo! Portals think small for the latest news niche: Sites offer access to content as gateways battle traffic slippage. Big media octopuses, cutting off tentacles: Is the age of media deconsolidation upon us? An interview with Michael Eisner on the writers’ strike, Internet-only content and starting a new-media company. Why newspapers love the striking screenwriters — for the same reason journalists love themselves. Breaking news, not transcribing it: The Washington Post gives the embargo system a kick in the pants. A review of -30-: The Collapse of the Great American Newspaper. A review of Peter Jennings: A Reporter's Life. A review of Boom! by Tom Brokaw. Disservice journalism: Not-So-Hot Buttons: Race and gender continue to be standbys in political media coverage despite the fact that they aren't as important as they once were. A review of Reporting Iraq, ed. Columbia Journalism Review. There has recently been a huge growth in transnational English language television channels, with the launch in the UK of Al Jazeera English, Press TV (Iran), CCTV9 (China), France 24 and Russia Today. These join existing channels such as CNN International, Voice of America and BBC World TV. But what are the purposes of these channels? A look at how Al Jazeera English offers news without the nonsense. Media bias is a fact of life: Is anyone really so naive to expect something different from these news outlets?
From Cafe Babel, a special issue on the Common Agricultural Policy. EU and the global hollywood: In a critique of EU film policy, Hans Erik Naess claims that European funding programmes that focus on "European cultural identity and cultural heritage" are totally misguided. The Well Spring: Maybe Christianity in Europe hasn't run dry. In defence of national interests: There is a good case for a smaller European Commission—but also some counter-arguments. The trouble with migrants: Europe is fretting about too much immigration when it needs even more. From Merkur, when young Muslims reject western society, some say they have been driven to do so, and self-exclusion is thus reinterpreted as the fault of the majority. What motivates this alliance between liberal self-critique and religiosity? You've got to swing your hips! An interview with German author Feridun Zaimoglu on how feminist former-Muslims demonize ordinary young Muslim women. An essay on Germany as the soft underbelly of Europe: Germany presents a tempting target for the jihadists and others. In the land of the mute: Andrzej Stasiuk has penned a sophisticated and bourbon-fuelled portrait of Polish-German relations — "Dojczland" has divided Poland. From The Economist, a series of articles on Austria: Austria has had some lucky breaks and has used them with brio, but what should it do for an encore?
Roger D. Congleton (George Mason): Voting By Altruists: Some Electoral Implications of Civic Virtue. Aaron Edlin (UC-Berkeley), Andrew Gelman (Columbia) and Noah Kaplan (Houston): Voting as a Rational Choice: Why and How People Vote to Improve the Well-Being of Others. The introduction to Democratic Authority: A Philosophical Framework by David M. Estlund. Is democracy making us stupid? Democracy is a form of mob rule that is incapable of acting in the mob’s best interests. From Swans, an article on democracy versus stability. Obama's plan for open-source democracy: For the candidate working to establish himself as the harbinger of modern era in politics, Obama's new technology plan is a big step in the right direction. How social media can help shape society: An interview with David Colarusso, co-creator of 10Questions.com, about how the site is helping empower popular discussion about the U.S. Presidential campaign. The Democratic presidential debate moderators seem more interested in eliciting mistakes from the candidates than informing the public. The campaign and the horse race: An unusually large number of serious presidential candidates bunched somewhere behind the front-runners are not getting major attention.
From Time, a cover story on What Makes Us Moral: Morality and empathy are writ deep in our genes, as are savagery and bloodlust. Science is learning what makes us both noble and terrible—and perhaps what can make us; and here are some of the dilemmas used to study human morality — take this quiz to see how you compare. The Theory of Moral Neuroscience: A look at how modern brain science is confirming Adam Smith's moral theories. A review of Ethical Theory, ed. Russ Shafer-Landau. A review of A Theory of General Ethics: Human Relationships, Nature, and the Built Environment by Warwick Fox. A review of What Is Good and Why: The Ethics of Well-Being by Richard Kraut. A review of Reasons without Rationalism by Kieran Setiya. A review of Asking Questions: Using Meaningful Structures to Imply Ignorance by Robert Fiengo. A review of Relativism and the Foundations of Philosophy by Steven D. Hales. A review of How Ficta Follow Fiction: A Syncretistic Account of Fictional Entities by Alberto Voltolini. A review of The Paranormal and the Politics of Truth: A Sociological Account by Jeremy Northcote. Mind of a rock: Is everything conscious? Jim Holt investigates. How does one package a philosophical anthology? An abstract photograph with a smart typography. I think, therefore I earn: Philosophy graduates are suddenly all the rage with employers — what can they possibly have to offer?
From Inside Higher Ed, a study suggests that the lack of ideological diversity among professors can be traced in part to reasons (other than bias) why right-leaning undergrads don’t pursue PhDs. A nationwide trend for universities to use adjunct professors instead of a tenured faculty has become so extreme that some schools are pulling back. Antioch College and its uncertain future: The country's most radical experiment in higher learning and its discontents. Harlem takes on university in battle of town versus gown: Residents object to plans to turn black neighbourhood into "Manhattanville". An interview with D. Randy Garrison and Norman D. Vaughan, authors of Blended Learning in Higher Education: Framework, Principles, and Guidelines. Measuring mortarboards: A new sort of higher education guide for very discerning customers. Learning 2.0: Rah, Rah! Block that rook! Small, no-name colleges have become powerhouses in intercollegiate chess, trying to attract top-quality applicants and alumni money. Sexy education: A modest movement makes its way onto campus. Wingnut Awareness Week: Neocons beat the war drum on college campuses.
Editor or algorithm? Refinements in news services from Outside.in and Yahoo! Portals think small for the latest news niche: Sites offer access to content as gateways battle traffic slippage. Big media octopuses, cutting off tentacles: Is the age of media deconsolidation upon us? An interview with Michael Eisner on the writers’ strike, Internet-only content and starting a new-media company. Why newspapers love the striking screenwriters — for the same reason journalists love themselves. Breaking news, not transcribing it: The Washington Post gives the embargo system a kick in the pants. Not-So-Hot Buttons: Race and gender continue to be standbys in political media coverage despite the fact that they aren't as important as they once were. A review of Reporting Iraq, ed. Columbia Journalism Review. A look at how Al Jazeera English offers news without the nonsense. Media bias is a fact of life: Is anyone really so naive to expect something different from these news outlets?
From Wired, an interview with Ray Kurzweil, whose latest book is to made into a movie titled "The Singularity Is Near: A True Story About The Future", and a look at how we are nearing a tipping point in life extension, thanks to technologies that enhance our health and maximise resources. In an unprecedented feat of biological alchemy, researchers have turned human skin cells into stem cells that hold the same medical promise as controversial embryonic stem cells. Are scientists playing God? It depends on your religion. A review of The Jesuit and the Skull: Teilhard de Chardin, Evolution, and the Search for Peking Man by Amir D. Aczel. An article on building a safe nanotechnology future. Liberal Creationism: William Saletan on race, genes and intelligence. Arnold Kling on race, IQ and education. A review of Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother's Boyfriend by Barbara Oakley. A review of Love and Sex With Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships by David Levy.